Latest Special issue: Exclusive distribution

Anticompetitive practices

The Turkish Competition Board withdraws the individual exemption granted to an agreement containing exclusivity clauses in the on-trade beer market sector (Tuborg)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) Tuborg decision (20.06.2019; 19-22/335-152) in which the Board withdrew Tuborg Pazarlama A.Ş.’s (“Tuborg”) individual exemption granted to its agreements containing exclusivity clauses with sellers such as (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines pharmaceutical associations and companies for imposing anticompetitive conditions on their retailers (Madhya Pradesh Chemists and Distributors Federation / Madhya Pradesh Chemists and Druggist Association)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty on chemists and druggist associations in Madhya Pradesh and two pharmaceutical companies* By way of order dated 03.06.2019, CCI imposed penalty on Madhya Pradesh Chemists and Druggist Association (“MPCDA”) and Indore Chemists Association (“ICA”) (collectively ‘chemists and (...)

The Turkish Competition Board persists in its assessment concerning exclusivity practices of a company dealership agreements concerning the sales of chicken meat and eggs (Abalıoğlu)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
In a preliminary investigation in 2011 on the allegations that Abalıoğlu Yem Soya ve Tekstil A.Ş. (“ Abalıoğlu ”) had exclusivity clauses in its dealership agreements concerning the sales of chicken meat and eggs under “Lezita” brand, the Board had decided that Abalıoğlu had not violated the Law No. (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds no violation in a cinema chain exclusively selling one beverage producer’s products (Inox / Coca-Cola)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI holds no violation in exclusive selling beverages of Coca-Cola by INOX Theatres at higher rates than the retail price* The Competition Commission of India (“CCI/ Commission”) by way of order dated 28.02.2019 exonerated INOX Leisure Ltd (“INOX”) and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Ltd (...)

The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Competition Authority decides to invalidate clauses between a Big Tech company and its distributors for exclusive agreements considered as restrictive (Apple)
Egyptian Competition Authority (Cairo)
Unofficial convenience translation: In case of any discrepancy in this translation the Arabic wording only would prevail.* The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Competition Authority (“ECA”) has decided that Apple and its distributors have infringed the Egyptian Competition Law (“ECL”). The ECA (...)

The Ankara 7th Administrative Court annuls the Turkish Competition Board’s dismissal decision regarding the restriction of parallel imports allegations faced by a company in the market of energy system (Mastervolt / Eltesan)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Ankara 7th Administrative Court (“Court”) annulled the dismissal decision of the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) concerning the allegations that Mastervolt International Holding B.V. (“Mastervolt”) and its exclusive distributor in Turkey, Artı Marin Elektrik Dış Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Artı Marin”), (...)

The Australian Federal Court fines three distributors of polycarbonate roof sheeting for exclusive dealing conduct (Palram / Ampelite / EGR)
King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne)
Sweat deal for the ACCC* In the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Oakmoore Pty Ltd cases,[1] the Federal Court declared, by consent, that Ampelite Australia Pty Ltd (Ampelite), Palram Australia Pty Ltd (Palram) and Oakmoore Pty Ltd (trading as EGR) had engaged in exclusive (...)

The EU Court of Justice deals a blow to the Commission’s power to close antitrust investigations with commitment decisions by ruling that they do not preclude national courts from examining whether agreements comply with antitrust rules (Gasorba / Repsol)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On November 23, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (Court of Justice) dealt a blow to the European Commission’s (Commission) power to close antitrust investigations with commitment decisions, with its ruling in Case C-547/16 Gasorba et al. v. Repsol. The Court of Justice ruled that (...)

The Turkish Competition Board revokes an individual exemption granted to a major player in the beer market over exclusive distribution agreements (Tuborg)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) decision dated 09.11.2017 and numbered 17-36/583-256 (“Decision on Revocation of the CPS Exemption”) reveals the changing structure of the Turkish beer market. With this decision, the Board revoked its individual exemption granted for the exclusive (...)

The Turkish Competition Board publishes its reasoned decision on the preliminary investigation on the allegations that a white goods manufacturer restricted online sales of its dealers (BSH)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) BSH decision (22.08.2017; 17-27/454-195). The Board reviewed the allegations put forward by Ersan Pazarlama Tic. Ltd. Şti. (“Ersan Pazarlama”) against BSH Ev Aletleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“BSH”). The Board assessed (...)

The Chinese NDRC proposes new rules to deal with perceived anti-competitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry
Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
China proposes new rules to address perceived anti-competitive practices n the pharmaceutical industry* On 14 August 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC“) released a draft of the Guidelines on Pricing Conduct by Business Operators for Drugs in Shortage and Active (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of anticompetitive conduct against two film producers and two digital cinema service providers (K Sera Sera Digital Cinema / Pen India)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI closes case against the producers and presenters of ‘Kahaani-2’ with respect to alleged anticompetitive agreement* CCI vide its order dated June 21, 2017dismissed allegations of contravention of Section 3 and 4 of the Act against Pen India Ltd., Bound Script Motion Pictures Pvt. Ltd., UFO (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines global automobile manufacturer for resale price maintenance and other anticompetitive conduct in markets for car manufacturing, spare car parts, and car repair services (Fx Enterprise Solutions India / Hyundai Motor India)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI penalizes Hyundai for resale price maintenance and tie-in* The CCI vide its order dated June 14, 2017 imposed a penalty of INR 87 Crore (Rupees Eighty Seven Crores) on Hyundai Motor India Limited (‘HMIL’) for contravention of Section 3(4) read with Section 3(1) of the Act. The Information (...)

The French Competition Authority adopts a settlement decision concerning a case involving companies active in the distribution of consumer goods overseas (Henkel)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Exclusive distribution of consumer goods in overseas territories – Settlement* Within the framework of a settlement between all the parties, the Autorité de la concurrence fines Henkel and its wholesaler-importers in several overseas departments €600,000. In brief The Autorité de la (...)

The Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal sends case of anticompetitive conduct against film distributors back to Indian Competition Authority for reconsideration (K Sera Sera Digital Cinema / Digital Cinema Initiatives)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) directs re-consideration by CCI against movie producers/ distributors for alleged cartelisation in setting unfair standards in cinema exhibition* COMPAT, by its order dated December 8, 2015 reversed the order of CCI dated April 22, 2015 which closed a (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains commitments from several mainland alcohol manufacturers aiming to stop the exclusive distribution of their products in the French overseas territories (Pernod-Ricard)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Distribution of consumer goods in the French overseas territories* The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained from several mainland manufacturers their commitment to put an end to the exclusive distribution of their products in the French overseas territories and to implement a competitive (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission accepts commitments from petrol product suppliers regarding long term exclusive cooperation agreements with petrol stations (BP Hellas / Shell Hellas)
Ernst & Young (Athens)
By its decision No. 602/11.08.2015, the Hellenic Competition Commission (the “HCC”) unanimously accepted the commitments offered by nine (9) petrol product suppliers, to cease presumed violations of Art. 1 L. 703/77 and Art. 101 TFEU. This decision (the “HCC decision”), which was the first HCC case (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority imposes € 9 m fines for anticompetitive clauses in distribution contracts in the gas bottle market under Art. 101 TFEU and national equivalent (Galp Energia)
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
On 3 February 2015, the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) announced that it had imposed fines of 9.29 million EUR on the Galp Energia group for anticompetitive practices in the gas bottle market in Portugal. According to the PCA, Galp and its subsidiaries included in the large majority of (...)

The Competition Commission of India initiates an investigation in relation to resale price maintenance in the e-commerce sector (Snapdeal)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
The CCI has in 2014 initiated two investigations into the alleged imposition of minimum resale price maintenance (RPM). The first one was against Hyundai Motor India Ltd (‘Hyundai Case’) and I had written on the legal standard adopted by the Competition Commission of India to initiate (...)

Exclusive distribution: An overview of EU and national case law
Contrast (Brussels)
Introduction Compared with the previous overview dealing with exclusive distribution , the harvest is small. Interesting caselaw addressing exclusive distribution issues seems fairly rare. This might be a coincidence, but my contention is that it is not. The reduced success of exclusive (...)

The Competition Commission of India fines 14 automobile manufacturers for implementing anticompetitive and unilateral practices on the automobile spare parts and repair market (Shamsher Kataria / Honda Siel)
Jindal Global University (Sonipat)
In the month of August, China fined 12 Japanese auto parts makers a total of over US$200 million for price fixing, the maximum amount imposed for violating the anti-monopoly law thus far. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) stated that the companies were found to have (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines 14 car manufacturers for unilateral practices and anticompetitive agreements in the markets for spare car parts and car maintenance (Shri Shamsher Kataria / Honda Siel Cars India)
Vaish Associates (New Delhi)
CCI penalizes 14 major Car Companies a penalty of INR 2544.64 Crores* The CCI by way of order dated August 25, 2014 in Shri Shamsher Kataria Vs Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. & Ors. has imposed a total penalty of INR 2,544.65 crore at 2% of total turnover in India on the 14 major car (...)

The Indian Competition Commission pertains for the first time to the concept of ‘aftermarkets’ and discusses the interface between IPRs and competition law (Honda / Volkswagen / Fiat)
Indian Competition Commission (New delhi)
CCI Order on Car Manufacturers for Anti-Competitive Conduct* Facts: Information was filed under Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”) initially against 3 car manufacturers alleging anti-competitive practices on part of the opposite parties (“OPs”). OP1 to OP3 were involved in the (...)

The South African Competition Tribunal dismisses a monopolization case brought by the Competition Commission against a leading brewer and distributor of beer and soft drinks (South African Breweries)
Nortons (Sandton)
SA competition enforcer’s distribution monopoly case dismissed by Tribunal* South African Breweries distribution case dismissed The Competition Tribunal of South Africa has dismissed a monopolization case brought by the Competition Commission against South African Breweries (“SAB”). The (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into a suspected breach of Article 101 TFEU in relation to the supply of nutrition products for wellness and fitness (Enervit)
Queen Mary University (London)
In November 2013, after receiving a complaint from a pharmacist and owner of a website for online retail shopping, the Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) has started a formal investigation on vertical restrictions of competition stemming from agreements between Enervit S.p.A. (Enervit), a (...)

The Lisbon Appeal Court upholds dismissal of private enforcement action that opposed a distributor to a manufacturer in the gas bottle market and provides important general clarifications (Gas bottle distributor)
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
The Lisbon Appeal Court confirmed the dismissal of a distributor’s claims for compensation in a private enforcement case in the gas bottle distribution market involving a territorial protection clause. The distributor sued the manufacturer after the latter ended a 42 year-long commercial (...)

The Croatian High Administrative Court upholds the NCA’s decision against an automobile supplier for including anticompetitive provisions in its auto repair services agreements that could not be exempted under the national equivalent of the EC Regulation 1400/2002 (Kia Motors)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 29 March 2012 the Croatian High Administrative Court (VUS) upheld the infringement decision issued by the Croatian Competition Authority (AZTN) against the exclusive supplier of KIA automobiles in Croatia Kia Motors Adria Group d.o.o. (KMAG) for obliging the authorized auto repairers to (...)

Exclusive distribution: An overview of EU and national case law
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
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Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
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Garrido Abogados (Madrid)
An impartial commentator cannot but be surprised that, 45 years after the Consten and Grunding ruling in the E.U., 34 years after the Sylvania ruling in the U.S. and one year after the last reform undertaken by the European Commission (the "Commission") in this area, exclusive agreements (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines leading camera manufacturer a total of 12.5 million CHF because of the restrictions on parallel imports of the company’s imaging products (Nikon)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
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UNCTAD (Geneva)
I. Summary The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) fines Nikon AG a total of 12.5 million CHF because of restrictions on parallel imports of Nikon imaging products. II. Case 1. Parties Nikon AG, Switzerland («Defendant«). The Nikon Group organizes its sales in Europe through its own offices (...)

The Athens Civil Court of Appeal dismisses an obligation to enter into a contract in the case of anticompetitive practices
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction Ruling No 6546/2011 of the Athens Civil Court of Appeal (Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) is of particular importance for the private enforcement of Greek and EU competition law since it clarifies the remedies available to the victims in case of anticompetitive practices. In (...)

The Chinese NDRC imposes heavy fines on two pharmaceutical companies for monopoly pricing (Shuntong / Huaxin)
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
The NDRC has imposed fines of almost CNY 7 million, confiscated illegal gains, and imposed a cease-and-desist order on two pharmaceutical companies for monopoly pricing. The decision is the first time that the NDRC has imposed significant penalties for a breach of the AML since the law (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments in relation to exclusivity agreements in the multi-brand gift cards sector (Accentiv’Kadéos)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
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Affinion International (London)
In its decision N°11-D-08 dated 27 April 2011, the French Competition Authority (the «Competition Authority«) accepted the commitments offered by Accentiv’Kadéos in relation to exclusivity agreements between it and its partner brands in the multi-brand gift cards sector. Background On August 2009, (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal annuls a decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission imposing fines for resale price maintenance in the automobile sector (Alto Sarris / Fiat)
Mikroulea, Staikouras & Associates (Athens)
Introduction On 22 February 2011, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko EfeteioAthinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Ruling No 458/2011 annulling Decision No 437/V/2009 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) which had imposed (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM formulates rules to govern contracts between suppliers and retailers
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
MOFCOM Spokesperson Mr Yao Jian has stated that MOFCOM and related industrial associations are formulating rules to govern contracts between suppliers and retailers. This was in response to questions over Carrefour’s relationships with its suppliers. At the end of 2010, Carrefour was involved (...)

The Hungarian Metropolitan Court of Appeal upholds an infringement decision of the NCA concerning an exclusive supply and purchasing arrangement and finds that the addressees of the decision have no standing to challenge immunity granted to another party (Kortex Mérnöki Iroda)
Baker McKenzie (Budapest)
The Metropolitan Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority concerning an exclusive supply – exclusive purchasing arrangement and found that the addressees of the decision have no standing to challenge immunity granted to another party. I. The background of the (...)

The UK Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal and proceed to a full trial on defence against trademark infringement allegations (Oracle / M-Tech)
Ashurst (Milan)
English Court of Appeal allows M-Tech’s appeal against Oracle* On 28 August 2010, the English Court of Appeal issued a judgment setting aside an order for summary judgment by the High Court of Justice, thus granting M-Tech permission to appeal and proceed to a full trial to defend itself (...)

The EU Commission publishes new rules for vertical agreements
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Dentons (Brussels)
On April 20, 2010, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted its new, long-awaited Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (the VBER) and accompanying guidelines applicable to distribution agreements in the EU. The VBER, which will enter into force on June 1, 2010, replaces Regulation (...)

The EU Commission adopts new rules on vertical restraints
European Commission (Brussels)
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Macchi di Cellere Gangemi (London)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
On April 20, 2010, the European Commission adopted a new Regulation (No 330/2010) listing the conditions under which vertical restraints are exempt from the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements (defined by Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, «TFEU», (...)

The EU Commission adopts new vertical agreements block exemption regulation and vertical restraints guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 April 2010, the Commission adopted final versions of the new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (“VABER”) and Vertical Restraints Guidelines (“Guidelines”). The new VABER will enter into force on 1 June 2010, and will expire at the end of May 2022. The new VABER provides for a (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments from a technology company and a mobile telecommunications company to waive distribution exclusivity of mobile phones (Apple / Orange)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
On 11 January 2010, the French Competition Authority handed down its first decision of 2010, accepting the commitments undertaken by Apple and Orange to waive any distribution exclusivity on current and future iPhones models. Such Commitment Decision, taken pursuant to Article L. 464-2 I of (...)

A Dutch Court of Appeal rules that termination of distribution contracts by a supplier under pressure from competing distributors is a concerted practice (Batavus / Vriend)
Van Doorne (Amsterdam)
I. Introduction This judgment of the Court of Appeal of Leeuwarden (“the Court”) is the latest in a series of judgments in a long running dispute relating to the termination in 2001 by Batavus B.V. (“Batavus”), a bicycle manufacturer, of its long term business relations with a retailer, Vriend’s (...)

The French Competition Authority fines € 6.9 M a football association and a rights for sports management agency for anticompetitive agreements on the market for audiovisual rights (FFF-Sportfive)
Credit Agricole
Following its 2001 and 2004 decisions to investigate competition in the field of management of professional football rights, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed a fine of 6.9 million € on the Fédération Française du football (FFF), the French football association, and Sportfive for their (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the review of EC Regulation 2790/99 and of the European guidelines on vertical restraints
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence welcomes the modernization undertaken by the European Commission and recommends that the Commission better explains the balance it intends to guarantee between online trade and (...)

The EU Commission publishes for consultation drafts of the vertical agreements block exemption regulation and vertical guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 July 2009, the European Commission published for consultation a draft of the proposed new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (VABER) and its accompanying draft Vertical Guidelines. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on these documents by 28 September 2009. The (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court confirms a decision of the Cartel Court whereby cross-boarder RPM between a German publisher and an Austrian press distributor infringes Art 81.1 EU therefore preventing the exception provided in national legislation - excluding ban of RPM in the book / magazine sector - to apply (Burda / Pressegroßvertrieb)
Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Brussels)
Case In 2004, Burda Publishing Group, Germany signed Pressegroßvertrieb as the exclusive Austrian distributor to retailers concerning Burda’s magazines. With a market share of 35%, Pressegroßvertrieb is only one of two competitors which provide distribution services including services such as (...)

The German Competition Authority adopts decision on exclusive distribution and non-compete clauses for chemical products (Merck / VWR International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published decision of 14 July 2009, the German Competition Authority found that an agreement between Merck and VWR International Europe (“VWR”) for the distribution of chemical products used by laboratories was contrary to Article 81 EC and the equivalent provision of German law. (...)

A French Court renders a new decision relative to the selection of distributors of new vehicles in a qualitative and quantitative selective distribution system (Sodac / BMW France)
Vogel & Vogel (Paris)
Legal disputes often arise relative to the selection of distributors of new vehicles in distribution systems that are both qualitative and quantitative in the various Member States of the EU. An analysis of the decisions rendered reflects the significant difficulties, after entry into force of (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority imposes interim measures following an assessment of the unilateral termination of the motor vehicle distribution agreement (Simatic / Tomic)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary The Croatian Competition Authority ordered the exclusive importer of the BMW automobiles into Croatia Tomic & Co. d.o.o. to include its former distributor and repair service provider Simatic d.o.o. in the network of authorized spare parts retailers and repair service providers. (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court voids a judgment of the Cartel Court on the assessment of a "radius clause" provided for in the lease agreements of a shopping centre (UNO Shopping / PlusCity)
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte (Vienna)
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Bpv Hügel (Vienna)
In a decision of 25 March 2009, the Austrian Supreme Court decided to void a judgment of the Cartel Court on the assessment of a "radius clause" provided for in the lease agreements of a shopping centre in the Linz area. 1. Facts and decision at first instance The case at hand is the result (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority grants an individual exemption for the exclusive distribution agreements concluded by the leading sugar products manufacturer with its distributors (Cadbury Romania)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary The Romanian Competition Authority granted an individual exemption under Article 5(1) of the Competition Law n° 21/1996, a provision equivalent to Article 81(3) EC for a series of exclusive distribution contracts concluded between leading sugar products manufacturer SC Cadbury Romania (...)

The Paris Court of appeals confirms the NCA’s interim measures preventing exclusive rights regarding the distribution of the iPhone (Apple / Orange / France Télécom)
White & Case (Paris)
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TIRU (Paris)
In a decision dated 4 February 2009, the Paris Court of Appeals confirmed decision n° 08-MC-01[[ French Competition Council (Conseil de la concurrence), 17 December 2008, Decision n° 08-MC-01, Bouygues Telecom/ Apple-Orange (iPhone). of the French Competition Council concerning practices (...)

The French Competition Authority orders the suspension of the iPhone exclusivity on the basis of Art. 81 EC (Bouygues Telecom / Apple-Orange)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Conseil de la concurrence considered that the agreements entered into between Orange and Apple were likely to introduce further rigidity, to increase consumer captivity due to smartphones attraction and, through the implementation of a differentiation strategy, to reduce competition in a (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority imposes interim measures following an assessment of the motor vehicle exclusive distribution agreement (Adria Lada / SPID)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary The Croatian Competition Authority (Agencija za zaštitu tržišnog natjecanja) (AZTN) following a complaint launched by SPID d.o.o. obliged the official distributor of “Lada” automobiles in Croatia ADRIA LADA d.o.o. to publicly announce the criteria it applies for certification of the service (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority grants an individual exemption for the exclusive distribution agreement concluded by the leading chocolate producer with its distributors (Kraft Foods Romania)
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
Summary The Romanian Competition Authority granted an individual exemption for exclusive distribution contracts concluded between chocolate producer Kraft Foods and its 14 distributors. Initially concerned with the risk of raising entry barriers and reduction of inter-brand competition among (...)

The Turkish Competition Board grants individual exemption to an exclusive distribution agreement (GlaxoSmithKline / Pfizer)
University of Leeds
In an interesting decision on 20 June 2008, the Turkish Competition Board (TCB) has granted an individual exemption to an exclusive distribution agreement between GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Co. and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Ltd after refusing to grant negative clearance to the agreement under (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office grants immunity in proceedings concerning exclusive supply agreement in the context of a public procurement tender (Olympus)
Baker McKenzie (Budapest)
According to its press release of 21 December 2007 in its decision concerning an exclusive supply agreement between two undertakings, the Competition Office imposed a fine of HUF 77 million (ca. € 308 000) on Kortex Mérnöki Iroda Kft., a Hungarian engineering company, while it granted immunity (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority invokes cartel rules and leniency policy with regard to an exclusive distribution agreement in the healthcare sector (Kortex / Olympus)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 December 2007, the Hungarian Competition Authority (“GVH”) fined Kortex Mérnöki Iroda Kft. (“Kortex”), a company specialised in the construction of hospitals and the distribution of medical equipment, HUF 77m (approximately € 300,000) for concluding an anti-competitive agreement with Olympus (...)

A German Court rules on the exclusive iPhone distribution agreements (Apple / T-Mobile)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 4 December 2007 the German Regional Court of Hamburg issued a decision on the compatibility with competition law and the law against unfair practices of the exclusive distribution agreement concluded between the German mobile network operator T-Mobile and the American multinational (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a spark plugs producer for exclusive dealing practices (NGK Spark Plugs)
Compass Lexecon (Paris)
The French Competition Authority (FCA) has fined € 300,000 NGK Spark Plugs France for a vertical agreement with its distributors involving an exclusive dealing provision. NGK Spark Plugs France is one of the main producers of spark plugs for motorcycles (two-stroke engines) in France. The FCA’s (...)

The French Competition Council holds as anticompetitive an exclusive purchase clause in a selective distribution agreement (NGK Spark Plugs)
Simmons & Simmons (Paris)
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Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
NGK Spark Plugs France (NGK France), one of NGK Japan’s subsidiaries in the European Union, is the main supplier of plugs for two wheel vehicles in France. NGK France set up a selective distribution network in France based on a selective distribution framework agreement. It was argued that NGK (...)

The Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition grants an individual exemption of an exclusive distribution agreement (GlaxoSmithKline)
ArbJournal
In the beginning of 2006 GlaxoSmithKline Ltd, Bulgaria, (GSK) notified the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) about an exclusive distribution agreement (Agreement) entered into between GSK and Agroengineering-90 Ltd (Agroengineering) on 21 December 2005. Subject of the agreement are (...)

A Dutch Court of First Instance declares void an exclusive distribution agreement on the market of ballast materials for the construction of railways as per the Dutch Competition Act (Rotim / Ballast)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
Rotim is a Dutch company importing, selling and distributing ballast materials for railways. Basalt is a company established in Germany which produces ballast materials. In 1983, Rotim concluded an agreement with Basalt, the so-called “Liefervertrag’, according to which Rotim had the exclusive (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority imposes a fine on three pay-TV operators for restrictive exclusive distribution agreements (Channel LTV)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
On June 2, 2006 the Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter C.P.C.) put an end to its ex-officcio investigation of the pay-TV industry in Cyprus imposing a total fine of CY£ 535 on Channel LTV, Multichoice Ltd (LTV’s platform administrator) and NETMED NV (Multichoice’s majority (...)

The UK High Court holds that an unlawful non-compete clause cannot be severed from the exclusive distributorship agreement if such severance would destroy the fundamental nature of the agreement (Courage)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
A. Introduction In its judgment of 1 March 2006 the England and Wales High Court (Commercial Court) ("the High Court") made an important ruling on the severability of a non-competition clause in the context of the termination of an exclusive distributorship agreement. The High Court held that (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office investigates whether an exclusive agreement in relation to magazine racks infringes the Hungarian Competition Act (Presti Est’s)
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
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Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
Background The Pesti Est media company is the largest player on the market of free program magazines in Hungary, distributing 130,000 copies a week of its magazine in Budapest. The Competition Office started an investigation into whether Pesti Est’s exclusive agreements in relation to their (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal awards damages for active sales breaching an exclusive distribution agreement (Horas International / Rexit)
BECI (Brussels)
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Liège University - IEJE
The facts The appellant in this case is a Belgian firm whose business activities consist in distributing furniture and accessories (hereafter the “distributor”). The defendant is an Italian company specialized in the design and production of furniture (hereafter the “manufacturer”). In 1985, the (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions several companies for having engaged in vertical price agreements regarding the distribution of video cassettes for children (Disney video cassettes)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Disney video cassettes for children: The Conseil de la concurrence fines the companies BVHE, Casino, Carrefour and SDO for engaging in vertical price agreements.* Following a referral from the Ministry of (...)

The Danish Competition Council clears a beer standard distribution agreement in the gastronomic sector subject to commitments alleviating the exclusivity effects of the agreement on the basis of Art. 81/82 EC (Carlsberg)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 26 October 2005 the Danish Competition Council granted clearance subject to commitments to Carlsberg’s supply agreements with the gastronomic sector. The Danish Competition Authority was concerned that the degree to which Carlsberg was binding its retailers might be in conflict with Articles (...)

A Dutch Court considers that the statutes of a farmer association containing an exclusive supply obligation do not breach Art. 81.1 EC (VTN)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
The plaintiffs were members of the Coöperatie Voedingstuinbouw Nederland (VTN), a cooperative association of farmers in Holland. Pursuant to an exclusive supply obligation contained in VTN’s statutes, VTN’s members were compelled to sell their production of vegetables exclusively to the (...)

The EU Commission fines a motor vehicle manufacturer for infringement of Article 81 EC in a parallel import case (Peugeot)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Parallel import of motor vehicles: the Peugeot case"* The Peugeot decision, adopted by the Commission on 5 October 2005, imposed a fine of 49.4 million euros for breach of Article 81 EC on the motor vehicle manufacturer Automobiles Peugeot SA (‘Peugeot‘), and its subsidiary Peugeot Nederland (...)

The Irish Competition Authority assesses the prices and exclusive provisions of a major entertainment events tickets reseller on the basis of both national and EC competition laws (TicketMaster Ireland)
London School of Economics
The National Competition Authority has rejected allegations that TicketMaster (hereinafter “TicketMaster”) Ireland is abusing its dominant position through excessive pricing and that its exclusive contractual relations with certain promoters constitute infringements of Art 81 EC and its domestic (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority finds an exclusivity clause has an effect on trade between Member States and may distort competition in the sport events sector (Aréna / Multimédia Light and Sound / Ticketpro)
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
,
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
Background Aréna Üzemelteto Rt. received the right from the Hungarian State to be the controlling company of the Budapest Sports Stadium (hereinafter: the Budapest Sports Stadium). Aréna was, at the time of the investigation, an affiliate of the French Bouygues group. Multimédia Light and Sound (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority concludes that the agreements offered by the Budapest Sports Stadium are capable of distorting competition and have the potential of infringing Art. 81 EC (Arena Uzemelteto / Multimedia Light and Sound / Ticketpro)
KNP Law Nagy Koppany Varga & Partners
The Budapest Sports Arena (BSA), a 12,000 seating capacity, state of the art, multifunctional sports and entertainment complex was first opened to the public in March 2003. It was built on the place of the Budapest Sports Hall, which was completely destroyed in a devastating fire five years (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal issues a preliminary ruling on the successive application of Art. 81.3 EC to vertical agreements and concerted practices and rules on the De minimis doctrine (Emond / Brasserie Haacht)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Notre Europe
This is a judgment of the Brussels Court of Appeal responding to a request for a preliminary ruling from the Court d’appel de Liège ("Court of Appeal of Liège"), on the application of Article 81 EC and vertical block exemption regulations to a beer supply agreement setting up an exclusive (...)

The Court of Appeal of Brussels confirms that an exclusive beverages supply agreement is in conformity with Art. 81 EC (Emond / Brasserie Haacht)
BDGS Associés (Paris)
In a decision dated of 23 June 2005, the Court of Appeal of Brussels confirmed the conformity of a supply agreement of beverages with the Article 81 of the EC treaty. The facts leading to this decision were the following. On 24 June 1993, M. Emond signed a supply agreement with the brewery (...)

The Spanish Competition Court holds that car manufacturers with a market share below 30% may freely choose the members of their distribution or repair and maintenance network (Citröen)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
Background The Agrupación de Agentes y Servicios Oficiales Citröen de Cataluña (hereinafter, “the ASOCC”), an association of the repair shops integrated in the repair and maintenance services’ network of Citröen in the region of Cataluña, lodged on 1 October 2003 a complaint before the Spanish (...)

The UK OFT issues a draft opinion indicating that exclusive newspaper distribution arrangements granting absolute territorial protection are compatible with UK and EC competition law ("Distribution arrangements between newspaper and magazine publishers and wholesalers")
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
King’s College (London)
In order to ensure consistency with the EC regime, the UK system for notification of agreements under the Competition Act 1998 (the CA) was abolished on 1 May 2004. The OFT does not therefore accept notifications for decision or guidance under the Act. The OFT, however, continues to offer a (...)

A Dutch Court hearing an application for interim relief declares a selective distribution agreement contrary to Art. 81.1 EC and therefore void (Polar / Walstock)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
Polar is a producer of a range of heart rate monitors and had, for many years,in accordance with an oral distribution agreement, been supplying Walstock, a retailer of sport products. Polar decided, however, to change its distribution policy by distinguishing several range of heart rate (...)

The German Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf holds that hardcore restrictions are not per se appreciable if the relevant market share is below 1% (Tschechisches Bier)
Gleiss Lutz (Munich)
,
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (Munich)
On 23 June 2004, the German Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf issued a decision on the compatibility with EC law of a contract concerning an exclusive right to import Czech beer into Germany . Facts The plaintiff used to be the sole importer and authorised dealer in Germany for Budweiser (...)

The English High Court ruled on the applicability of a national doctrine in circumstances where it has previously been held that, in principle, the issue falls within the scope of Art. 81 EC (Days Medical Aids / Pihsiang)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Law Office of Tim Seidenspinner
Facts of the case Days Medical Aids Ltd (“DMA”) carried on business as, inter alia, an importer of wheelchairs and scooters designed to assist people with mobility problems. Pihsiang Machinery Manufacturing Co Ltd (“PMM”) exported substantial numbers of scooters worldwide. In 1996, DMA and PMM (...)

The EU Commission approves the amended supply agreements between the largest Belgium brewer and the Horeca outlets located in the Belgium market (Interbrew)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
"European Commission opens up Interbrew’s Belgian horeca outlets to competing beer brands"* On 15 April 2003, the European Commission approved the amended supply agreements between Interbrew, the largest brewer in Belgium, and pubs, restaurants or hotels (horeca-outlets) located on the Belgian (...)

The EU Commission publishes a study on the future of motor vehicle distribution and servicing agreements
European Commission - DG RTD
"Commission publishes a study on the future of motor vehicle distribution"* Car Distribution at EC level is currently regulated by Block Exemption Regulation 1475/95, which expires on 30 September 2002. On 15 November 2000, the Commission adopted an evaluation report on the Block Exemption, as (...)

A Luxembourg Commercial Court rules that a de minimis exclusive distribution agreement is not prohibited under Article 85 EC (La Pastourelle / Rolling)
Justinian Lawyers Belgium (Brussels)
1. Facts On 1 April 1982, "la Pastourelle" (hereafter "the plaintiff"), limited company under Belgian law, and "Maison Rolling" (hereafter "the defendant"), shop located in Luxembourg, concluded an exclusive sale agreement for a duration of 5 years. This agreement was extended for the same (...)

The French Competition Authority orders to an optician to stop publishing “generally applied” prices within its exclusive distribution network, as this constitutes indirect resale price maintenance (Krys)
PPG Industries (Rueil-Malmaison)
Description of the impugned case The present case deals with the commercial practices carried out by the optician Krys through its exclusive distribution network. Investigations have showed that Krys has led national promotion campaigns where prices were indicated has “generally applied” by the (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on competition issues related to sports
OECD - Competition Division
Satellite television with dedicated sports channels considerably increased the market for sports broadcasts. Sports bodies and event organisers perceive that they have market power to influence competition among TV channels and the market for sports equipment. Sports federations and leagues (...)

The EU Commission adopts a negative decision under article 85(1) EC Treaty in a case regarding restraints on parallel trade between Member States (BASF Lacke+Farben)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Agreement preventing parallel trade"* In line with its well-established policy of vigorously combatting agreements or practices which artificially divide the common market and thereby prejudice the basic aims of the European Union, the Commission adopted on 12 July 1995 a negative decision (...)

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